MDG/10 Review Summit: Renewed Commitments for Women and Girls
Women and girls are the answer to development challenges. That was the biggest takeaway message from the Millennium Development Goals Review Summit, according to a poll conducted by the UN Foundation. The second most important message, the poll found, was that each person has a role to play in the achievement of the eight interlinked goals that together form a blueprint for reducing poverty and improving lives.
Beyond gaining additional visibility, the Summit also secured pledges of $40 billion for the Secretary-General’s global plan to save the lives of 16 million women and children. The plan, entitled, “Keeping the promise: united to achieve the Millennium Development Goals”, was adopted on the final evening of the three-day Millennium Review Summit, attended by some 89 Heads of State and Government.
In the action plan, world leaders stressed that accelerating progress on the health-related Millennium Development Goals is essential for making headway on the other goals. Although new estimates show that maternal mortality rates have begun to fall substantially, too many women continue to die giving life, and much more progress will be needed to achieve the target of a 75 per cent reduction by 2015.
New commitments, wide participation
Leaders said that in order to achieve the MDG targets by 2015 in a time of economic uncertainty, adequate, consistent and predictable financial resources for development are needed. A significant number of Heads of State and Government from developed and developing countries, made new commitments, along with foundations and civil society organization in order to promote the achievement of individual goals. Many of these commitments focus on the health of mothers and children (MDGs 4 and 5) as a cornerstone of development.
Business leaders also promised to do their part to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals, and 23 companies announced new or renewed commitments to the work. A number of celebrities and Goodwill Ambassadors brought additional momentum to the push for action. Artists lent their voices and enthusiasm to the chorus as well.
This was the first major MDG Summit that was covered widely by the social media, in part because of a digital media lounge set up by the UN Foundation and Mashable/Social Good. Hundreds of accredited bloggers attended each day, and were able to listen to, write about and involve others in many of the key events that were livestreamed to the lounge from the UN. Additional panels were organized at the media lounge to widen the perspectives and analysis. also added their unique voices to the chorus.
UNFPA plays a key role
UNFPA was actively involved in many aspects of the Summit, including by helping to shape the Secretary-General’s plan. On the eve of the Summit, UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid was honoured for her important role in advancing the MDGS. Prior to the event, participants were encouraged to speak up for women and girls. Several publications dealing with different aspects of maternal health (MDG 5) were launched as well.
The Executive Director and other senior UNFPA also took an active role in a number of events to promote support for the health and rights of women and young people. They included:
- MDG Summit Roundtable on Health and Education
- The Leadership Forum
- Side panel: Accelerating Progress in Achieving MDG 5
- Side panel: 1.8 Billion strong. Young People are Driving the MDGs
Related campaigns and websites
- MDG Campaign
- Gateway to the MDGs
- MDG Indicators
- UNDP/MDG website
- UN Citizen Ambassadors
- TED Speakers
- Eight Lives: Stories of Reproductive Health
- How Universal is Access to Reproductive Health
- Sexual and Reproductive Health for All
- Adding it Up
- Focus on Five: Women’s Health and the MDGs
- Healthy Expectations: 15 Years After Cairo
- Beyond the Midpoint. Achieving the Millennium Development Goals
- Beijing at 15: UNFPA and Partners Charting the Way Forward